Queer Character of the Day (Video Game Edition): Veronica Santangelo, Fallout: New Vegas
There is nothing I love more than an innocuous, subtle gay character in a video game series. Sometimes having queer characters displayed as overly-flambouyant, sex-obsessed jokers can get a little tiring/annoying/stereotypical, so a side character revealing their sexuality randomly during a completely-optional “conversation” scene is really refreshing. It makes me very, very happy.
I’ve loved Fallout since the series was refreshed by Bethesda with Fallout 3. I think they really breathed new life into a series that was previously a little bit dull, and I loved that it shared the same game mechanics as Oblivion. Being a mindless, obsessed Elder Scrolls fangirl drone, I immediately took over my at-the-time partner’s PC when he was at work to play New: Vegas because I never had a chance to play Fallout 3 for extended periods of time. This was due to the fact that I don’t have a computer or console, asides from a Wii, that is of “this generation”. Thank you, bank account.
New Vegas was an excellent addition to the Fallout 3 universe. I loved the stupid quests, the fact that I could join or sabotage a cult of bourgeois would-be cannibals, the fact that I had the option to rule over all of New Vegas and the colourful choice of partners that could join my party at any time. My favourite companion, though, was a quirky scribe and “procurement specialist” for the Brotherhood of Steel known as Veronica Santangelo.
Your character meets Veronica, voiced by Felicia Day, at the 188 Trading Post in 2281. If you speak negatively of the Brotherhood during your first encounter, the ability to have Veronica join your party will never become available to you. Veronica is a Brotherhood of Steel Journeyman Scribe who is sent out on missions to “procure” items that the Brotherhood cannot reproduce on their own, such as food. Veronica is friendly, precocious and attractive (according to all the in-game NPC’s, which gets kind of annoying after a while). She regularly will chat to almost all NPC’s from non-hostile factions and, the best part, is openly a lesbian. She loves dresses and when low on health, she will half-jokingly ask you to be buried in one.
Veronica is very outspoken about her beliefs. She believes that the Brotherhood’s views on the outside world are harmful and that the organization needs to change direction in order to survive. Of course, this leads other characters to develop dissent towards her, which ends up with her being sent on longer and longer missions to the outside world for procurement. Veronica is incredibly loyal to the Brotherhood, and because of that she is emotionally torn between what she knows is right and the organization’s direction.
If you choose to ask Veronica “Have you ever been in love?” while she is in your party, she will tell you a story about her first real love, a woman who she grew up with in the Brotherhood of Steel. The Brotherhood views homosexuality negatively because due to their reclusive and elitist nature, reproduction is vital to their survival. Veronica’s girlfriend’s parents grew increasingly frustrated with her and began to press reproduction on her. This became to much for her and, without Veronica, she left the Brotherhood of Steel behind. If you ask Veronica to stay close by and you are playing as a male character, she will tell you that she won’t get too close unless you transform into a “leggy brunette”.
Veronica is awesome. The main perk you receive from her is “Scribe Assistant” and it allows Veronica to craft workbench items for you without the need for a tangible workbench. Other perks available through Veronica are Bonds of Steel (which increases Veronica’s armour +4 DT), Causeless Rebel (which increases Veronica’s unarmed attack rate by 30%, Elijah’s Last Words (which increases Veronica’s attack speed by 150% and gives her a 25% knock-down rate towards enemies) and Elijah’s Ramblings (which increases your critical hit damage by 150%).
If your reputation with the Brotherhood of Steel drops to “Villified”, Veronica will leave your party and will not act as a companion any longer. With her in your party, you will be able to access Hidden Valley without being stripped of your weapons and forced to wear an explosive collar, you won’t have to get rid of Ranger Dobson from one of the bunkers and will be almost immediately trusted by the Brotherhood of Steel.
Because of all the previously mentioned reasons, Veronica is my pick for “Queer Character of the Day (Video Game Edition)” for Pride week. I hope all my fellow queers, and non-queer allies have an amazing time this week in Toronto! I hope to see you at the Parade and maybe for some partying this weekend in the village.